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Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014
Huw Evans

 

 Northern Advanced Research Training Initiative (NARTI)

A Workshop on:  Systems Methodologies in Community Contexts

Dr. Rebecca Herron (University of Lincoln),

Dr. Martin Reynolds (The Open University)

Thursday 10th July 2014

University of Lincoln

Lincoln Business School

(Room BL2105, David Chiddick Building)

 

Introduction

Aim of workshop:

To explore advanced methodological issues related to applying Systems Research within communities.  Exploring the ethical issues of co-researching and community participation in the design and implementation of research. Identifying research challenges to evaluating the impact of Systems Research in the communities concerned.

 Intended audience:

1. Early Career Researchers using OR / Systems Methodologies within community contexts.

2. Doctoral Research students with existing background knowledge of Systems Research.

Workshop Programme

The workshop will be led by Rebecca Herron (Lincoln Business School) and Martin Reynolds (The Open University) with additional contributions from Huw Evans (Independent Consultant), Zoraida Mendiwelso Bendek (PI for an ESRC Capacity Building Cluster for the Third Sector) and other Senior Researchers from the University of Lincoln.

9.30 – 10.00    Coffee & Registration

 10:00-10.45    Introduction and context:  examples and development of Systems Research and Community Operational Research in communities

10.45-12.15    Reviewing some methodological foundations: reflecting on boundaries, inter-relationships and critical perspectives

12.15-13.00    Mapping research interests and methodologies

 13.00-13.45    LUNCH

 13.45-15.30    Thematic Discussions:

Informal learning and research

Challenges of co-producing knowledge and engaging with communities

Challenges of evaluating research impact in self-organising communities

Different forms of systems methodology in use with communities

 15.30-16.00    Plenary: Relevance and implications for participants’ own doctoral / post-doctoral research

 16.00               CLOSE

 

 How to register for the workshop:

 Places are allocated on a first come first served basis so please ensure that you return your completed booking form (on next page) to narti@lubs.leeds.ac.uk as soon as possible.

 How to get to Lincoln Business School

The Business School is a few minutes walk from the Railway Station.

It is located in the David Chiddick Building on Brayford Wharf East, Number 18 on the map available here: http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/maps/

 

 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR BOOKING FORM

 

BOOKING FORM

Systems Methodologies in Community Contexts

University of Lincoln

Thursday 10th July 2014

Name:

 

 

University:

 

 

Level of Research:

 

 

Doctoral Student

 

Early Career Researcher

 

Staff

Area of Research:

 

 

 

Any specific interests, issues and/or questions you wish to discuss:

 

 

Email:

 

Any dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, Halal)

 

Disability requirements

 

 

 

Please return this booking form to Joanne Garrick at: narti@lubs.leeds.ac.uk



Friday, 6 Jun 2014
Huw Evans

We've been making progress rejuvenating the Community OR SIG.  The SIG now has some Terms of Reference (ToR) which have been developed by the committee - who are named below.  The ToR give us some clarity, or guidance, around the point of having a Community OR SIG so that when asked what differentiates the Community OR SIG from others we have a response.  Version 1.0 can be found under 'Documents' - and it's reproduced below.  We'll see how well the ToR serve the SIG.

Committee Members:

Huw Evans (huwdevans@gmail.com)

Ann Taket

Gerald Midgley

Ellen Lewis

Raghav Rajagopalan

Martin Turner

Rebecca Herron

Alejandro Ochoa Arias

Eliseo Vilalta

Gerard de Zeeuw

Martha Vahl

The committee meets via video conferencing and the minutes are published on the ORS website once agreed.

OR56 is approaching fast and there will be a COR stream at the conference - organised by Martha and Eliseo - perhaps we'll see you there?

 

 

Huw Evans

 

************************************

Terms of Reference

Community OR is about the development and application of methods and techniques from traditions of operational research and related fields, e.g. systems thinking, for empowering people and communities seeking to be involved in, or influence, activities, including decision-making, for improvement on issues that affect their lives locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Purpose

The purpose of the Community OR special interest group is to promote the practice and development of COR worldwide.

The Community OR SIG seeks to contribute to:

  1. Demonstrating that people and communities can address the problems and issues facing them.
  2. Enhancing methods, techniques and approaches to the study of communities in the present through academic and public media.
  3. Enhancing collaborative research among people engaged in COR as being a key feature upon which COR is based.
  4. A thriving COR research community that advances empirically strong ideas about community intervention and makes a difference through those ideas to the practice of its members.
  5. Growing COR beyond the traditional base of OR, bringing in members from the wider social sciences, to broaden OR itself.

The Community OR SIG WILL:

  1. Identify and improve tools to acquire that help realise the purpose of the SIG.
  2. The SIG will promote dialogue between research oriented members and practitioners to create a platform which assists one in informing and enriching the other.
  3. Hold seminars and conferences, publish books, journal special issues, develop a presence on the worldwide web, disseminate case studies, and develop outreach to other professional bodies.
  4. Develop and maintain the SIG with an international focus.
  5. Not broker COR researchers and potential clients.

Governance arrangements

The COR SIG operates within the rules and guidance set by the Operational Research Society.

Officers of the SIG must be members of the Operational Research Society.

The SIG Committee will hold an Annual General Meeting.

Other meetings will be held regularly and no less frequently than quarterly.

Meetings will enable international involvement, beyond the United Kingdom, and can be in person, online or a combination.

With the agreement of committee members decisions can be made via email where appropriate.

A written record, at least, of every committee meeting will be kept and published on the ORS website.

The committee has a minimum membership of one and an upper limit of 20.

Committee members and officers are proposed and elected at each AGM.

Eligible committee members will be Co-Chairs.

Quorum is 50% of committee members.

All members of the SIG have voting rights at the AGM.

************************************



Thursday, 22 May 2014
Huw Evans
Posted on behalf of Martha Vahl & Eliseo Luis Vilalta-perdomo
 
Keynote OR56  Proposal call for contributions

This year’s  Keynote will have the format of a series of short presentations by participants about Community OR as well as a discussion. The aim is to explore our views about the future of COR as well as about its purpose and remit. A refereed summary is considered. It also will feed into the Community OR Special Interest Group, which aims to facilitate future activities with those interested.

We are thinking of 6 minutes presentations. If possible, technically, we can also consider pre recorded video or skype- type of presentations. If necessary we can fill the slot of an hour with pitches and take the next slot of 30 mins for a plenary discussion.
 
COR Keynote contributions
So far, we have got positive responses to do a 6 minutes pitch as part of the COR Keynote from:
- Alejandro Ochoa Arias - through video or video link, if he can’t  come the UK
- Eliseo Vilalta Perdomo
- Gerard de Zeeuw
- Martha Vahl
- Huw Evans
 
We urgently need your brief outlines (one paragraph) of your contributions by 29 May as the deadline for Keynote abstracts is due on May 30.  More contributions are welcome so, please submit, we can extend the keynote with the next  30 minutes slot to finish and have a discussion.
 
COR stream presentations
To date there are no submissions registered through the conference abstract system. All potential presenters must submit their abstracts through the OR website. See timetable below. We usually have some flexibility in the deadlines, but not beyond 2 July as the programme needs to be set and the abstracts printed.
 
Please let us know if you intend to present, even if you want to wait until the last moment to register. 
January 2014
Submission of abstracts starts
 
30 May 2014
Deadline for submission of Titles and abstracts in time to appear in the Conference Program.
 
30 May 2014
Deadline for submission of full Keynote Papers and Extended Abstracts.
 
21 June 2014
Notification of Acceptance to be sent re Keynote Papers and Extended Abstracts.
 
30 June 2014
Deadline for early reduced registration fee
 
02 July 2014
Deadline for final revision of abstracts.  Normally abstracts are submitted at the same time as the paper title, but there is scope for presenters to make changes up to this date.
 
18 July 2014
Deadline for registration if the abstract or paper is to be scheduled for presentation.  Thereby ensuring their talk will appear in the final programme.  The conference committee reserve the right to exclude papers if bookings are not made by this date.
 
 

 

 

 



Posted on behalf of Martha Vahl & Eliseo Luis Vilalta-perdomo
 
Keynote OR56  Proposal call for contributions

This year’s  Keynote will have the format of a series of short presentations by participants about Community OR as well as a discussion. The aim is to explore our views about the future of COR as well as about its purpose and remit. A refereed summary is considered. It also will feed into the Community OR Special Interest Group, which aims to facilitate future activities with those interested.

We are thinking of 6 minutes presentations. If possible, technically, we can also consider pre recorded video or skype- type of presentations. If necessary we can fill the slot of an hour with pitches and take the next slot of 30 mins for a plenary discussion.
 
COR Keynote contributions
So far, we have got positive responses to do a 6 minutes pitch as part of the COR Keynote from:
- Alejandro Ochoa Arias - through video or video link, if he can’t  come the UK
- Eliseo Vilalta Perdomo
- Gerard de Zeeuw
- Martha Vahl
- Huw Evans
 
We urgently need your brief outlines (one paragraph) of your contributions by 29 May as the deadline for Keynote abstracts is due on May 30.  More contributions are welcome so, please submit, we can extend the keynote with the next  30 minutes slot to finish and have a discussion.
 
COR stream presentations
To date there are no submissions registered through the conference abstract system. All potential presenters must submit their abstracts through the OR website. See timetable below. We usually have some flexibility in the deadlines, but not beyond 2 July as the programme needs to be set and the abstracts printed.
 
Please let us know if you intend to present, even if you want to wait until the last moment to register. 
January 2014
Submission of abstracts starts
 
30 May 2014
Deadline for submission of Titles and abstracts in time to appear in the Conference Program.
 
30 May 2014
Deadline for submission of full Keynote Papers and Extended Abstracts.
 
21 June 2014
Notification of Acceptance to be sent re Keynote Papers and Extended Abstracts.
 
30 June 2014
Deadline for early reduced registration fee
 
02 July 2014
Deadline for final revision of abstracts.  Normally abstracts are submitted at the same time as the paper title, but there is scope for presenters to make changes up to this date.
 
18 July 2014
Deadline for registration if the abstract or paper is to be scheduled for presentation.  Thereby ensuring their talk will appear in the final programme.  The conference committee reserve the right to exclude papers if bookings are not made by this date.
 
 

 

 

 



Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014
Huw Evans

Since 2007 public service delivery and reform in Scotland has been aligned with a set of National Outcomes and a single Purpose: "To focus Government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth."  Over time, the Scottish Government, working with its partners in the public, third and private sectors, has developed a distinctive approach to public service delivery and reform to deliver the Purpose and National Outcomes set out in Scotland's National Performance Framework (www.scotland.gov.uk/about/performance/scotperforms).  That approach responds to particular strengths and challenges in Scotland seeking to reduce inequalities and to help ensure the long term sustainability of public finances.  The distinctive Scottish approach is committed to protecting and improving public services through reform and efficiency, and in these tough times, the power of public services to enhance quality of life and improve economic opportunities has never been more important.  To successfully reform our services and ensure they improve outcomes, reduce future demand for services and are financially sustainable, innovative approaches to reform are required to understand the needs and capabilities of communities, and through the implementation of the Government's reform principles; the four pillars of prevention, performance, people and partnership, a recognition of the importance of place and utilising co-production and assets-based methodology to deliver improvement in practice.

Innovative participatory systems-based methods which can help address the challenges of public service reform exist but have not yet been applied in this context.   In this project, the student will draw on three system-based methods (SBMs): Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA), Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), and System Dynamics (SD).  The aim is to develop concrete accounts of how these SBMs, SODA, SSM and SD, can be used (in isolation or combination) to help service providers and communities to reform their services in a thoughtful and participative manner.  We envisage the student will undertake a small number of  action research case studies, where we will actively seek to deploy the SBMs in question to help service managers and key stakeholders (e.g. community planning partnerships, third sector) discuss and agree system reforms following the principles of the Scottish approach and the 4 pillars of reform.   The development of the case studies will be informed by insights from What Works Scotland which is expected to be launched in June 2014.

The student will be supervised by Professors Alec Morton and Susan Howick and will be expected to interact regularly with the Scottish Government as the sponsor and part-funder of this proposal.  

The studentship covers home tuition fees and a stipend of £13,863 pa for 3 years.  Candidates are required to have an excellent Honours (Undergraduate) degree in a relevant business, scientific or social science subject, and a Masters degree (or equivalent) will be strongly preferred.   An understanding of the Scottish approach to public service delivery and reform would also be desirable.  Interested applicants should send a CV and a short statement of research interest to Professor Alec Morton (alec.morton@strath.ac.uk) by 31st May.  Applicants need to be eligible for UK/EU fees and should also read and confirm that they are eligible for funding according to the ESRC academic and residential criteria, summarised here:http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/postgraduates/prospective-students/eligibility/index.aspx.  The selected candidate will also need to be approved by the Scottish Graduate School-Doctoral Training Centre (http://www.socsciscotland.ac.uk/). 



Professor Alec Morton
Department of Management Science
Strathclyde Business School 
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow



Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014
Huw Evans

During 2013 I undertook to find out whether there was interest in rejuvenating a COR SIG.  As an independent consultant without the infrastructure of a large organisation to draw upon my approach had its limitations but I sought to make it as open and transparent as possible - perhaps as COR focused an approach as possible ....

From a web-based survey of ORS members I received fifty-nine responses, of which thirty-two supported having a COR SIG.  One respondent was not in favour and twenty-five were undecided.  Following on from the survey a workshop was organised at the OR55 conference at Exeter where people sought to explore how a COR SIG could/should be developed.

Since OR55 there have been further discussions and exchanges about how to take the development of a COR SIG forward.  We now have a core group of people interested in developing the COR agenda and it is time to reconstitute a committee and move forwards.

Our first meeting will be an online conference on 26 March 2014.  We'll let you know how it goes.

 

 



DETAILS OF TALK
 
TItle: Performance Management in the Public and Third Sectors- avoiding the pitfalls
 
Presenter: Max Moullin, Director Public Sector Scorecard Research Centre
 
Date/Time: Wednesday 2nd April 2014 at 17:00

Venue: West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, LS2 7UP.

Refreshments (tea/coffee/cookies) will be available before the meeting but please confirm your attendance to ensure we provide sufficient for everybody.

Please contact James Crosbie on jamescrosbie@hotmail.co.uk to confirm your attendance.

Max will begin the evening with an interactive presentation on the many pitfalls of managing and measuring performance and how to overcome them. He will also discuss, with case studies, a number of performance frameworks such as the Balanced Scorecard and the Public Sector Scorecard. He will talk about the importance of focussing on outcomes and evidence-based drivers of outcomes and of a performance management culture focussed on improvement, accountability and change, rather than a top-down blame culture. 

He will then facilitate a group exercise encouraging participants to apply the learning to an organisation chosen by the group. 

While most of the examples given will be from the public and third sectors, the topic is just as relevant to those working in the private sector.

Max is director of the Public Sector Scorecard Research Centre and a visiting fellow at Sheffield Business School, where he was principal lecturer for over 25 years. Max's earlier career was in OR in the Departments of the Environment, Transport and Health before becoming senior section leader in British Coal's OR Executive. He is a Fellow of the Operational Research Society and the Chartered Quality Institute. 

Max Moullin
Director, Public Sector Scorecard Research Centre
Visiting Fellow, Sheffield Business School 
Max is a Fellow of the Chartered Quality Institute and the Operational Research Society and is a Chartered Quality Professional.
He is a member of the steering group of the Healthcare Advisory Forum